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I have some questions concerning sentences.

  1. [full name], having defended his thesis and passed the engineering exam conducted by the Examination Board, obtained his diploma and earned the title of Bachelor of Engineering.
  2. [full name], having defended his thesis and passed the engineering exam conducted by the Examination Board, obtained the diploma and the title of Bachelor of Engineering.

Which sentence is better?

Thank you for your help in advance.

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Welcome to the site. Is there a particular problem you see with one or the other? We are not set up here to provide generic writing or proofreading advice. You may wish to peruse the Help Center for guidance on how to get the most from this site. –  choster Nov 5 '13 at 18:55
    
The second sounds more official because a granting authority would never refer to a recipient three times in one sentence. Once is quite sufficient; all other noun phrases in such an official sentence should allude to the high standards and superior status of the granting authority, if possible by presupposition. –  John Lawler Nov 5 '13 at 19:29

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The first sentence sounds better, but why, it is hard to say. Here's my best shot.

A diploma is something personal. It's something that belongs to an individual and is tailored to the individual. Some people get a diploma in Engineering, some in English literature, some get it with honors and some without. The possessive pronoun "his" signifies that it is personal.

A title of "Bachelor of Engineering", on the other hand, is something general. Many people achieve this title. Hence the pronoun "the".

The phrasing of the first sentence is also much more common than that of the second. In fact, I've never heard the phrase "obtained the diploma" ever spoken.

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